Research study finds National Fatherhood Initiative program reduces risk of
child abuse and neglect.
A qualitative and quantitative study of National Fatherhood Initiative’s (NFI) 24/7 Dad® found that the program leads to highly significant increases in four of the five protective factors shown to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect. This study analyzed the results of the Protective Factors Survey (PFS) to measure change in 645 fathers participating in two Texas fatherhood programs. It was conducted by the Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP) at the University of Texas at Austin.
This study represents the largest evaluation of 24/7 Dad® to-date. Founded in 1994, NFI has developed numerous, evidence-based fatherhood curricula and resources for community-based and governmental fatherhood programs. 24/7 Dad® is the most widely used fatherhood program in the U.S. The evidence-based curriculum helps fathers develop the five characteristics of a 24/7 Dad®: self-awareness, caring for self, fathering skills, parenting skills and relationship skills.
According to the 2016 Annual Report from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, every nine minutes a child in Texas becomes a victim of abuse or neglect. The 24/7 Dad® evaluation was part of a broader evaluation by CFRP of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Prevention and Early Intervention Division’s (PEI) Educating Fathers for Empowering Children Tomorrow (EFFECT) program. Two of the three Texas fatherhood programs that use 24/7 Dad® and contract with PEI to implement the Fatherhood EFFECT program – BCFS Health and Human Service and the Child Crisis Center of El Paso – were part of the CFRP evaluation.
The CFRP evaluation analyzed the PFS survey results of fathers before and after 24/7 Dad® ended. The evaluation sought to measure EFFECT’s overall impact on increasing protective factors of fathers —family functioning and resilience, social support, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support and nurturing and attachment—to reduce the risk of child maltreatment and to promote positive family wellbeing.
The results of the PFS surveys among fathers participating in 24/7 Dad® found:
- An overall score increase from pre-to post-program of 5.1 to 5.6.
- Highly significant increases in four of the five protective factors: Family Functioning/Resiliency, Social
Support, Child Development/Knowledge of Parenting, Nurturing and Attachment.
- 91 percent of dads experienced improvement in at least one protective factor.
- 14 percent of dads experienced improvement in all five factors.
- Highly significant increases in all five characteristics of the 24/7 Dad®.
In addition, the study found that the greater number of 24/7 Dad® sessions participants attended, the more improvement they made in building the protective factors.
“The results of the CFRP evaluation of 24/7 Dad® are eye-opening and encouraging,” said Christopher Brown, president, National Fatherhood Initiative. “NFI is committed to improving paternal engagement and child well being. In order to achieve those goals, our programs and resources must equip fathers to positively engage in their children’s lives. The fact that this evaluation supports the effectiveness of 24/7 Dad® for all dads regardless of ethnicity, marital status, location of residence and education lends credibility to it and reinforces our work to increase the number of fatherhood programs using 24/7 Dad® nationwide.”
About National Fatherhood Initiative
National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) was founded in 1994 to reverse our nation’s destructive trend towards father absence. Today, more than 24 million American children live in homes in which their biological fathers do not live. On average, these children face a host of risks to their physical, economic, social, and emotional well-being as a result of living without the presence of an involved, responsible, and committed father. Therefore, NFI’s mission is to transform organizations and communities by equipping them to intentionally and proactively engage fathers in their children’s lives. Accordingly, we accomplish our mission by:
- Educating all Americans, especially fathers, through social media, earned media, research and free
- Equipping organizations and communities with fatherhood programs and resources, and through
training, planning, and technical assistance services.
- Engaging and assisting organizations and communities to mobilize at the micro- and macro-level to
increase the involvement of fathers in children’s lives.
For more information on National Fatherhood Initiative, visit fatherhood.org.